Detailed description of the career of a physicist/astronomer.
1. Describe/define the occupation, including the nature of work (what they do).
Physics can be defined as the science of matter and energy, and of interactions between the two. Physics deals with the physical properties, interactions, processes or laws governing these interactions, consisting of the study of the natural world and phenomena. Physicists want to thoroughly understand how the world works, in every detail and at the deepest level. This includes everything from elementary particles, to nuclei, atoms, molecules, macromolecules, living cells, solids, liquids, gases, plasmas, living organisms, the human brain, complex systems, supercomputers, the atmosphere, planets, stars, galaxies and the universe. They also research subjects such as mechanics, heat, light, sound, electricity, pheumatics, magnetism, and radiation. Physicists study many of today’s important scientific questions, developing new instrumentation, refining measurement techniques, and modeling. With mathematics and chemistry it is commonly known as an ‘enabling science’ because it forms the basis for many of the professional disciplines and, increasingly, in commerce. Astronomers study objects and phenomena which exist or have their origin in outer space. They look for consistent patterns in the information they gather and develop and test theories using mathematical applications.
2. What are the qualifications for employment in this career area? (list)
§ doctoral, masters, or bachelors degree in physics or astronomy
§ State certification
§ classes of electromagnetism, optics, thermodynamics, atomic physics, and quantum mechanics
§ astronomers need an undergraduate degree in either physics or astronomy then a Ph.D. in astronomy
§ experience in internships, fellowships, or work-study programs in postdoctoral positions